Chile con queso is the best spicy pepper and cheese dip. One of our favorite Mexican cheese dip recipes! Best to serve warm with corn tortilla chips or nachos.
It’s such an easy and delicious cheese dip for Game day or Mexican party. You can serve it on the side as appetizer with your favorite snacks.
Homemade con queso is rich, creamy and full of flavor. Perfect recipe for nacho dip that serves up to 4 people.
It is made without processed food and without meat. Our Mexican chile con queso recipe is gluten free and vegetarian.
If you are looking for homemade cheese dip, this Mexican chile con queso will be the best choice!
What is chile con queso
Chile con queso can be also called simply queso, which translates from Spanish as cheese. So basically it is a warm side dish of melted cheese and chili peppers.
It is usually served in Tex-Mex restaurants as a dip for tortilla chips or nachos. As you can already guess, this spicy cheese dip is Mexican. Originally, it comes from northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.
I used chili flakes for topping the cheese dip. It’s optional, but the look and taste will benefit for sure!
How to make con queso from scratch
You don’t have to order takeout to have delicious Mexican cheese dip!
Let’s start with ingredients for Mexican queso. To make queso dip you will need cheese (I used yellow cheddar), cornstarch, unsalted butter, fresh and powdered garlic, onion, small tomato, canned marinated green chili, full fat heavy or whipping cream, cilantro or parsley, coriander powder, salt and chili flakes.
To make Mexican queso from scratch, melt butter in a heavy bottom pan. Cook chopped onion and garlic, stirring until aromatic and translucent.
Chop small tomato and add to the pan, cook few minutes.
Add shredded cheddar cheese and cornstarch. Stir together with a spatula until cheese starts to melt.
Finally, add room temperature full fat heavy cream. Cook, stirring with your spatula until incorporated.
Add spices – ground coriander, garlic powder, salt. Add chopped green chili and chopped cilantro or parsley.
Cook on low, stirring few minutes until bubbly.
Serve warm with chili flakes on top and tortilla chips on a side!
What pepper to use for the recipe
I used marinated green chili pepper, cut finally. But you can use chopped fresh poblano, serrano, hatch or jalapeño, too. I think marinated or pickled pepper get more kick to the cheese dip!
You can also roast or grill fresh peppers, then cut them and add to queso dip. Discard the skin, if you will roast your peppers.
Variations of Mexican chile con queso
Chile con queso translates as pepper and cheese. So these are the main ingredients, but then you can customize it to your preferences or ingredients that you have on hand.
You can add chopped avocado, black beans, fajita meat or chopped chorizo to the queso, if you wish. But chile con queso doesn’t have to have meat in it. It’s the cheese dip with pepper!
Many recipes call for two types of cheese. You can substitute half of cheddar cheese with Monterrey Jack, cream cheese or white Mexican cheese (asadero). Usually white or yellow cheese is used for the queso recipe.
Try experimenting, but keep in mind that not all types of cheese melt together smoothly. That is when Velveeta comes in help. However, we are not fans of processed food. I recommend following my recipe and simply use yellow cheddar.
It is important that you shred cheese yourself, because it will give you smooth texture. Store-bought shredded cheese is good for pizza or salad, but not for dips.
Good thing is that you can customize this queso dip to you liking! There’s no ingredient (except cheese and pepper) that is a must here.
What goes with Mexican cheese dip
This is our favorite queso dip to serve for nachos and tortilla chips. You can also dip crackers, pretzels, crisps, bread sticks or raw vegetables such as carrots or celery sticks.
Storing chile con queso
Chile con queso can last up to 3-4 days in the fridge in the closed container.
You can reheat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or on the stove, stirring until melted.
You can freeze it up to 2 weeks, but is won’t be as good as the fresh one. This is quite easy recipe, so better customize it according to the ingredients that you have.
Use your leftover cheese dip with pasta. And yes, you can eat your queso dip cold. But it will be hard to dip anything but spoon in the firm cheese.
Check also our easy pumpkin dip recipe!
Mexican recipes for party
By the way, you can make a Mexican party, using our delicious and hot recipes!
Start with spicy Mexican tortilla soup. It will warm you up and get some heat to the party.
Then make chicken enchiladas for dinner! Serve chile con queso with nachos or tortilla chips on the side. Or you can use this queso as a condiment for enchiladas.
Serve the Mexican food with tequila for adults or use our take on raspberry mojito mocktail to quench thirst.
Chile Con Queso - Mexican Cheese Dip
- medium pot
- spatula for stirring
- heat proof bowl for serving
- 2 cups yellow cheddar shredded
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- ½ tbsp butter unsalted
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ onion
- 1 cup heavy cream full fat, room temperature
- 1 tomato small, chopped
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp coriander ground
- ¼ tbsp green chili marinated or canned, finely chopped
- ¼ cup parsley or cilantro chopped
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp chili flakes for decoration (optional)
- Place a heavy bottom pan on a medium heat. Add butter, heat until melted.½ tbsp butter
- Add chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until aromatic and translucent.¼ onion, 1 garlic clove
- Add chopped small tomato to the pan. Cook few minutes.1 tomato
- Add shredded cheese, then corn starch. Stir everything with a spatula. Cook until cheese starts to melt and cornstarch is incorporated.2 cups yellow cheddar, 1 tbsp corn starch
- Add full fat heavy cream. Heat on low, carefully stirring until everything is incorporated and cheese melts smoothly.1 cup heavy cream
- Add spices - coriander, garlic powder, salt. Add chopped green chili.½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp coriander, ⅛ tsp salt, ¼ tbsp green chili
- Add chopped cilantro or parsley. Stir to incorporate.¼ cup parsley or cilantro
- Cook on low few minutes, stirring until smooth and bubbly.
- Let it cool couple minutes, transfer to the heat-proof dipping bowl. Sprinkle with chili flakes.⅛ tsp chili flakes
- Serve warm with tortilla chips for dipping!